5 Ways to Prep Your Home for a Holiday Vacation

Whether you plan on traveling for a few weeks or just a few days, there are plenty of ways to ensure your home’s safety while away on a trip. If you can leave with the peace of mind that your place is perfectly safe and secure, you’ll be able to focus on what’s really important—enjoying your vacation!

Here are five ways to properly prep your home for a holiday vacation:

1. Lock Up Your Home

Believe it or not, there is more to locking up your home than just double-checking the front door as you make your way out.

If you have any hidden spare keys—no matter how well hidden—bring them inside while you’re gone. Be sure to check all external doors and windows. It’s easy to forget to lock a window, and potential trespassers will have plenty of time to find it while you’re gone.

If you have an alarm system, confirm that it’s fully activated and in working order.
Pro tip: Contact your alarm company and give them a heads-up that you’ll be out of town, so they can react accordingly in case of a break in.

2. Hold Your Mail

Having stacks of mail and/or newspapers piling up is a sure way to alert strangers you have been away. Luckily, there is an easy fix.

Simply call your newspaper provider and put your delivery on hold for the duration of your trip. In addition, putting in a Hold Mail Request is a smart, hassle-free way to stay organized, while simultaneously preventing identity thieves from tampering with your unattended mail.

When you return, all you have to do is pick-up the deliveries that you missed and let them know you’re ready to resume delivery.

3. Set-Up Deterrents

Remember in Home Alone when Kevin planned that whole elaborate holiday party just to deter the thieves? Well, it’s actually not such a bad idea!

If you’re only going on a short trip, consider leaving a few lamps on throughout your home so it looks occupied. For longer vacations, try setting up an automatic timer so your lights can turn on and off at staggered intervals.

You can also ask a family member, friend or trusted neighbor to come over and turn a few lights on in the evenings for you.

4. Prepare for the Weather

No matter where you live, there is always the slight risk of temperamental weather. So it’s best to expect the unexpected. Take a look at your yard, patio or any other exposed areas of your property then go ahead and secure any items that you think could be damaged or potentially cause damage in the event of strong winds, etc.

You also may want to arrange for someone to remove snow in the event of a storm.

If you call home to a place where the winter weather is nothing short of frigid, you’ll need to protect your pipes from freezing. Insulate any exposed pipes and leave a tap trickling to avoid a burst pipe in the event of the temperature suddenly dropping while you’re away.

5. Prepare for Your Return

Whether you’re walking through the door in cheerful, post-holiday bliss or a frustrated, family-drama-filled exhaustion, the last thing you’d want to face upon arrival is a smelly or dirty home. So when prepping for a vacation, do yourself a favor and prepare for your return as well.

Throw away any food that could spoil while you’re gone, run your dishwasher, and make sure to empty the trash. If you have extra time before you leave, you can wash and put away any laundry, change out your sheets and even plan a meal for your first day back home. You’ll thank yourself later!

Written by @properties
@properties Christie’s International Real Estate is Chicagoland’s #1 brokerage. Through our affiliation with Christie’s International Real Estate, our network spans nearly 50 countries. No matter your real estate needs, we’ve got you covered.